Agedashi Tofu with Black Pepper Broth

duration80 mins
meal_typeLunch, Dinner


  • 1/4 cup kombu tsuyu , substitute- soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps black pepper base , (recipe in steps)
  • Vegetable oil , to fry
  • 100 g kuzu , cooking starch. Substitute- corn starch
  • 2 x 450 g , drained, cut into 5cm pieces
  • Shaved bonito , to serve
  • Long green shallots , sliced to serve
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 8 eschalots , finely chopped
  • 50 g fresh ginger finely grated (we used a microplane)
  • 10 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup mirin
  • 50 g whole black peppercorns , crushed
  • 1/4 cup black vinegar (from specialty food shops and Asian grocers)


  1. For the black pepper base, heat the grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the eschalot, ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until reduced by half. Set aside 2 tbs of black pepper base for this recipe. Cool remaining mixture, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for another use.
  2. To make the black pepper broth, combine kombu tsuyu, 2 tbs reserved black pepper base (or to taste) and 400ml water in a medium saucepan. Stand for 12-15 minutes, then place over medium- high heat and bring to the boil. Turn off heat and stand for 30 minutes to infuse.
  3. Meanwhile, half-fill a medium saucepan with vegetable oil. Place over high heat and heat to 170°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 60 seconds when the oil is hot enough). Place kuzu and tofu in a bowl and toss gently to coat. In batches, fry tofu for 4-5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season to taste.
  4. Divide tofu among bowls and pour over broth. Scatter with shaved bonito and sliced long green shallot to serve.
Please be mindful of any allergies you and/or your family may have before you try out this recipe.